BORDENTOWN, NJ -- To breathe new life into one of the most historical homes in New Jersey, State Senator Troy Singleton (D-Burlington) recently brought 25 volunteers to the Gardener’s House at newly preserved Point Breeze in Bordentown City to begin landscape work. The volunteer project took place at the estate once owned by the exiled King of Spain, Joseph Bonaparte.
D&R Greenway helped preserve the property in December 2020 together with New Jersey's Green Acres program and the City of Bordentown. Their efforts will help welcome visitors to a new museum this Fall.
"I am so appreciative to D&R Greenway Land Trust, the Bordentown Historical Society and SERVPro Bordentown for partnering with us for our 30th 'Serve with Senator Singleton' event. We toiled in compost, mulch and wood chips to maintain the grounds at the Gardener's House at Point Breeze Estate to make it once again fit for a king," said Singleton.
Landscaped beds surrounding the historic Gardener's House were cleaned, roto-tilled, mulched and planted with low bush blueberry and mountain mint. The addition of lavender and herbs bring attention to the former door to the gardens. The group also worked to remove overgrown forsythias along the back and side of the house to open up a clear view of the back door that historically led to the gardens.
During the day, volunteers made exciting discoveries, including a marble splash guard and slate step found near the Gardener's House, to remind them of the deep history of the home. These artifacts are now in the new garden.
Singleton noted that "we didn't do it alone - we had incredible volunteers braving the heat to literally lay the groundwork for the restoration and beautification of this historic treasure in the weeks, months, and years ahead. I am immensely proud to represent a district that is so rich in our history, much of which is nestled in historic Bordentown."
D&R Greenway's President & CEO Linda Mead, Director of Land Preservation Danielle Dobisch, volunteer caretaker Tim Price and the executive team of the Bordentown Historical Society led the group during the hot Saturday of work.
Much work still needs to be done on the house including removing the old cable wiring on the outside of the building and creating an interpretive sign to show where the gardens were located. Future plans for the property also would re-open doors and recreate vegetable gardens.
Each month, Singleton crowd-sources a team of 20 or more volunteers to help with a particular community service project. The event in Bordentown was the Senator’s 30th “Serve with Senator Singleton” event since he became a State Senator in 2018.
Previous volunteer efforts include indoor and outdoor clean-up days, animal welfare projects, clothing and supply drives, painting projects and community event set-up and staffing. To date, more than 1,200 hours have been donated by the Senator and volunteers to local community service projects.
“I am guided by the idea that service is the rent we pay for living on this earth. These monthly community service events have been a priority for me during my first term as State Senator and they will continue to be. They have brought together people of different backgrounds, ages and perspectives for a common purpose - to be of service to their communities," added Singleton.